Summary: Peter shows us that because of Christ we are all acceptable, capable, valuable and forgivable.
"Who do you think you are?"
Sometimes I wonder if God is experiencing an identity crisis. (Illustrate from Morgan Freemans line in the movie “Deep Impact” – “Pray to god, whom ever that may be for you.”
Morgan Freeman’s god suffered from an identity crisis. I wonder if you suffer from an identity crisis. Do you know who you are?
As we read 1 Peter 2 we find that God certainly knows who we are. But just who do you think you are?
This passage from the bible begins by urging us to “Come to Jesus Christ.”
I want to put it to you tonight that everyone who comes to Jesus Christ will discover who they really are.
1. Acceptable (vv 4-5)
First, only when we come to Jesus do we discover that we are acceptable.
Peter says that those who come to Jesus Christ are “living stones [who] are being built into a spiritual house.” In other words, it’s no longer acceptable for God to dwell in temples made of dead, lifeless bricks and mortar. God chooses to dwell in “living houses,” people. God now chooses to dwell in the temple that is the living body of the believer.
1 Cor 3:16 tells us that believers are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? Further on in that same letter it says that the believers body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1 Cor 6:19). The book of Acts tells us that the Most High does not live in houses made by men (7:48).
Back in 1 Peter 2 it tells us that people who come to Jesus are like “Living stones.” The image is like that of a raw stone that has been cut and shaped to fit perfectly into a wall (Ill – limestone blocks in garden walls). When we come to Jesus he shapes us into people who are acceptable. When we come to him he knocks off the rough edges and makes us acceptable to God.
And people who come to Jesus are “Living” stones. This reminds us that being a Christian is not a dead-boring life – if it is for you then you’ve missed the point. Being a Christian is about living life the way God intended it to be – and that’s exciting.
The passage continues by saying that people who come to Jesus are living stones who – “are being built into a spiritual house.” It’s pointing to the church. What’s being said is that the church is a spiritual house built by God and its members are the stones of that building. So when we come to Jesus, we become part of his community – the church.
The point is this. When we come to Jesus he comes to us in the form of the church. The church is God’s gift to us. The church is the place where Jesus wants to express His acceptance of us.
Who do you think you are?
When we come to Jesus we find that we can be acceptable – People who can be acceptable to God. And the sign of His acceptance is found when we become part of the community that calls itself “church.”
2. Valuable (vv 6-7)
We may experience rejection in all sorts of places – home, work, or school – but Jesus says that we can be acceptable. And He says that because to Him we are valuable.
What Peter is saying here is that like Jesus, those who come to Him will be rejected by the world but are extremely valued by God.
The Good News Bible puts this verse like this, “This stone is of great value to you who believe” (GNB). It’s talking about Jesus. Jesus is precious to us because of who he makes us. Our value to God is linked to Jesus.
And the link is this. God values those who come to Christ because they were expensive to purchase. – they cost God the life of His one and only Son. In other words, those who come to Christ are as valuable to God as His only Son.
When we come to Jesus and become His, our value is connected to His value. Do you think God values His own Son? I think so. Yet he values you enough to have given the life of His Son for you.
Let me try and put this plainly. In the beginning God created humanity in His own image – Genesis tells us that we were created in the image and likeness of God. So as individuals we must have worth and value to God, because he created us to be like Himself. But after the fall that image was spoiled because our holiness – which was part of God’s image in us - was taken from us.